I started out just after 8 and the weather was bad, to put it mildly. Bearing in mind that Holyhead sits on an island sticking out into the Irish Sea things aren't going to be great to start off with really. First stop was Tesco to get petrol followed by the trip back to Anglesey, with the A55 being just as bad as the A5 was yesterday. I started to notice lots of lorries parked in laybys and the radio travel news stating that the Britannia Bridge was closed to high-sided vehicles explained that one. The travel news also mentioned that the A55 was closed to everyone between junctions 22 and 23 due to a ship grounding on the rocks at Colwyn Bay and the rescue services needing to use the A55, which is right by the sea there. It was going to be a little while until I got there, so I was hoping maybe it would be re-opened by then.
|This picture of Llandudno doesn't quite do justice to the weather.|
Off I went round the bottom bit of Anglesey (recall I was doing Anglesey "backwards") and the weather was awful. There was much sleet and it was very gusty. The only positive was that visibility wasn't too bad. Now the views across the Menai Strait are stunning; this morning there was sleet blowing horizontally along it. The Menai Bridge itself was actually ok, as was getting through Bangor. Things were starting to calm down a bit as I headed back onto the A55 with snow visible on the mountains.
Three tunnels later and I was heading towards Llandudno. Weather was getting worse again, so of course I stopped on the seafront to take some pictures of it. Back on the A55 and it wasn't long before I was at the back of the queue for the road closure. To get from junctions 20 to 23 (about 4 miles) took at least an hour, going via the A547 through Old Colwyn for the last bit as that was where the road was closed. Eventually I got to Rhyl and stopped for a break. The rain stopped as well. Went into Costa coffee for a well deserved chocolate muffin.
|Rhyl. I had my face sand-blasted getting off the bridge I was standing|
on taking this photo.
With the weather brightening I headed along the edge of the River Dee before crossing it at Connah's Quay. Somewhere just after that I crossed back into England, but missed it entirely. The border happens to also be about where the junction for the A494, A550 and A548 is, and it's quite a large affair, so was making sure I was in the correct lane instead.
Diversion number 2 came on the A540, part of which was closed for resurfacing, so it was the B5135 that I took there, through Neston. Through Hoylake and onto Wallasey the traffic was starting to get quite slow. Not entirely sure I followed the route exactly through Wallasey, but managed to get to the Kingsway tunnel nonetheless, mainly by following the signs for it! Best tunnel of the four. It was then down to the docks, back up from them again and through Crosby. I then stopped for lunch in Formby, which sadly lacked a banjo shop.
Through Southport and on to Preston, where diversion number 3 took place due to the building of a storm drain. The sun now shining it was then onto Lytham St Anne's and the very long, slow and garish drive along Blackpool seafront. A brief highlight was driving through the sand dunes just before Blackpool. In places this was quite literal where the sand had blown onto the road. I would have stopped to take some photos on Blackpool seafront, but £1.50 to park for a few photos wasn't happening. On to Fleetwood and things finally picked up a bit. Well, a little bit. Next it was the A588 to Lancaster, a road which, despite being across really flat countryside seemed to have absolutely loads of corners.
|Statue of Eric Morecambe in Morecambe.|
Reached Lancaster at the height of rush hour (yay) and crawled round the one-way system before heading to Heysham and then finally Morecambe. The day's journey took about an hour longer than expected, which isn't surprising considering the traffic jam on the A55. Best weather of the day was here so I had a wander down to the seafront and took some photos. I'd go so far to say that it is the nicest town I've stayed in so far, not that the others were particularly bad. Scotland tomorrow.